To gain practical experience, test career possibilities, network, and/or to increase their fluency in a second language and culture, PORTfolio students engage in an off-campus learning experience during their junior or senior year. Students may choose to study abroad, participate in a student-faculty research project, participate in service learning, or intern in a particular career field with a local organization or business.
What is an Internship?
An internship is learning by doing. By integrating classroom theory (knowledge) into the world of work, students acquire first-hand experience (know-how) in a work environment related to their career interests.
An internship involves active participation in the functioning of a business, governmental organization, non-profit organization, etc., for which the student receives academic credit. It may be either a semester long (12 semester hours of credit) experience or 100 hours of internship experience for 3 semester hours credit. Credits gained through a PORTfolio internship count towards meeting graduation requirements.
A PORTfolio academic internship allows students to:
- Expand their awareness of the world beyond the classroom
- Explore career ideas in professional settings
- Experience the connection between their liberal arts education and the world through its application at a work site
- Gain valuable career-related experience
- Improve their self-confidence, develop new skills and work habits essential for a responsible and productive professional
- Network with future employers
- Prepare an internship contract with their PORTfolio advisor which defines their learning objectives for the experience
- Perform internship responsibilities in a professional manner
- Maintain a daily journal that documents their internship experience
- Complete the academic work requirements of the internship
- Submit a self-evaluation about the internship which integrates academic and career interests
- Assist students with developing the academic component of the internship by outlining academic work to be completed
- Contact the intern during the internship to strengthen the link between academic and work components of the internship experience
- Evaluate the internship experience and assign a grade
PORTfolio Partner's Responsibilities
- Provide an internship job description to the PORTfolio Program
- Designate an internship supervisor at the work site
- Orient the intern to the organization and his or her work assignment
- Challenge the intern with work assignments of a professional nature
- Complete an intern evaluation form at the end of the internship